Brisbane, Australia: Pacific activists will hold the Labor Party accountable for rapidly phasing out fossil fuels in Australia to tackle the region’s key security threat – climate change.
Australia’s leaders must recognise the urgency of phasing out fossil fuels now as Pacific survival rests on limiting warming to 1.5℃. Pacific people are already experiencing loss and damage, and the impacts are increasing – there is no time to continue negotiating on people’s lives.
Queensland Coordinator for the Pacific Climate Warriors, Mary Maselina Harm will join a conference panel at the Labor National Conference on Thursday August 17 in Brisbane to discuss the Australia-Pacific bid to host the 31st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP31).
If the bid is successful, COP31 will be the biggest international summit that Australia has ever hosted. Pacific Island countries are global leaders on climate action. By working with Pacific nations to host the UN climate talks, Australia has a chance to show genuine leadership.
Harm will be joined on the panel by the federal Assistant Minister for Climate Change, Jenny McCallister and the South Australian Minister for Climate, Dr Susan Close.
At the same time the panel is held inside the conference room, Pacific activists will join other climate protesters outside the event calling on Labor to rule out new coal and gas projects and end fossil fuel subsidies.
Mary Maselina Harm, 350.org Pacific Climate Warriors, Queensland Coordinator said:
“Pacific Island countries, out of necessity, are the global leaders on climate action.
"We have solutions to the climate crisis and have made it very clear what needs to be done to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.
“To host the UN climate talks with the Pacific, Australia must show true climate leadership by shifting to a clean energy economy; ending subsidies for fossil fuels; committing to the Port Vila Call to Action; and strengthening environmental laws to stop new coal and gas projects.
“For Pacific Island countries, this is a fight for survival. Either fossil fuels have a future, or we do. And we’re not going anywhere.”
Kavita Naidu, Pacific Strategist, Climate Action Network - Australia, said:
“Pacific Island leaders are calling for a fossil-fuel-free Pacific. What is Australia going to do about this call to action?
“If Australia is serious about working with us to tackle our key climate security threat, then we need to see a ban on approving any new coal and gas projects.
“Australia can’t claim to be part of our family, our vuvale, while adding fuel to the fire that is destroying our livelihoods and displacing our people.”
WHEN: Thursday August 17 0830 AEST
WHEN: Thursday August 17 0800 AEST
WHERE: Outside the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Mary Maselina Harm, 350.org Pacific Climate Warriors, Queensland Coordinator
+61 0425 270 205
Kavita Naidu, Pacific Strategist, Climate Action Network – Australia
+61 0415 737 115
Guy Ritani, 350.org Pacific Climate Warriors, Rally speaker
+61 0477 795 734